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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009 Feb;29(2):173-9. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.108.179333. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Role of hydrogen sulfide in the development of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein E knockout mice.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Peking University First Hospital, Xi-An Men Street No. 1, West district, Beijing 100034, PR China.



We explored the effect of hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) on atherosclerotic progression, particularly on intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in apolipoprotein-E knockout (apoE(-/-)) mice and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).


ApoE(-/-) mice were treated with sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) or DL-propargylglycine (PPG); HUVECs were pretreated with NaHS. Compared with control mice, apoE(-/-) mice showed decreased plasma H(2)S level and aortic H(2)S production but increased plasma ICAM-1 and aortic ICAM-1 protein and mRNA. Compared with apoE(-/-) mice, apoE(-/-)+NaHS mice showed increased plasma H(2)S level, but decreased size of atherosclerotic plaque and plasma and aortic ICAM-1 levels, whereas apoE(-/-)+PPG mice showed decreased plasma H(2)S level but enlarged plaque size and increased plasma and aortic ICAM-1 levels. NaHS suppressed ICAM-1 expression in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-treated HUVECs. NaHS inhibited IkappaB degradation and NF-kappaB nuclear translocation in HUVECs treated with TNF-alpha.


The vascular CSE/H(2)S pathway was disturbed in apoE(-/-) mice. H(2)S exerted an antiatherogenic effect and inhibited ICAM-1 expression in apoE(-/-) mice. H(2)S inhibited ICAM-1 expression in TNF-alpha-induced HUVECs via the NF-kappaB pathway.

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